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February 24, 2017

Book Review: The Orphan, The Widow & Me

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Few stories have as much potential to change the way we live as those where God redeems deep heartache for His glorious, eternal purposes. Such is the case with JT Olson’s The Orphan, the Widow & Me. When 12-year-old JT became an orphan after a horrific accident, he couldn’t possibly have understood what God had in store–how the God he did not yet know planned to redeem every bit of the hurt, grief, confusion, and loneliness to impact thousands of families, children, and widows for generations to come. But that’s often how God chooses to work–in the details we don’t fully comprehend. As The Orphan, the Widow & Me demonstrates clearly page after riveting page, often God delights to draw the straightest lines from our deepest griefs to our greatest opportunities. As JT grew, so too did his heart for the vulnerable. His own journey of adopting his daughter, Grace, in China gave him deeper insight into the emotional and financial hurdles … Continue reading

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February 22, 2017

How to Avoid Compassion Fatigue

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Poverty. Refugee crisis. Foster care. Homelessness. Natural disasters. Orphan care. Sex trafficking … The scope of today’s personal and political crises is unprecedented. Everywhere we look, someone is hurting. Every time we turn on the T.V. we are bombarded with stories and images of people around the world who are experiencing deep suffering. The paralyzing problem of too many needs 21.3 Million Refugees (over half of whom are under 18) 143 Million Orphans 428,000 Foster Kids The numbers alone are daunting. Is it even possible to wrap our finite minds around a number like 143 million? So we take foster care classes, bring broken children into our lives, and invite hurting families into our homes. We take meals to the suffering and pray through the lists. And when we learn of a new need or crisis, we jump to get involved. We should care about these needs. God has commanded us to take the … Continue reading

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February 20, 2017

Our Motivation for Social Justice in 7 Quotes

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Today is World Day of Social Justice. Here is our motivation for social justice in 7 quotes. #1 “The Great Commission was clearly and definitively not a call to sit back and stay silent in a world of sin, evil, and suffering. From the very beginning, Christ designed for His disciples to run toward need–not away from it–to engage culture, not to ignore it. Yet, the church may be one of the only organizations in the world to define success according to what we don’t do.” —David Platt, President of the IMB and founder of Radical Read the full post by David Platt: Children and the Great Commission. #2 “What is our goal in fighting for justice? The same as Jesus’s when he healed the sick: to glorify God, bring joy to the hurting, and point to the glorious kingdom where sickness and suffering will be no more. Imperfect justice now … Continue reading

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February 17, 2017

4 Years to the Minute | Family Friday

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What a journey! We felt led to adopt back in November 2011, and for various reasons we quickly decided to pursue adoption from Haiti. At that time we believed that the finances would be the most challenging mountain to climb as we expected that the adoption would cost over $24,000. But with a few creative fundraisers, some help from friends, and some serious penny pinching we found that the finances were the easy part! We struggled for 4 ½ years (mostly with US immigration) to bring Manuchka home. God clearly taught us about patience and hope in seasons of pain. Fact: Where God leads, God provides. We have so many examples of God’s provision. 1) Our garage sale raised $14,000. 2) We experienced countless times where we had a deadline to submit evidence to the Department of Homeland Security and God provided just at the last moment to prevent our denial. 3) After having trouble … Continue reading

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February 15, 2017

Wanted: More People to Help Kids Like Davison

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For children sponsored in Zambia, attending school is a privilege, not a burden. In poverty-stricken communities like Kitwe, children are often left to fend for themselves while parents desperately search for ways to feed and care for the family. Without proper motivation, many children end up dropping out of school, leaving little to no hope of breaking the poverty cycle. “The compound”–as it is called by people in the community–can be a place of violence, crime, or abuse, certainly not a good environment for students to thrive in their education or grow in their relationship with Christ. With your help, Lifesong Zambia established a school almost a decade ago for the purpose of providing over 300 orphaned and vulnerable children with a quality Christian education. Additionally–through the vision and funding of people like you–Student Life Homes were constructed to serve as a safe haven for older students who lived in the compound. For many kids, sponsorship to Lifesong School is … Continue reading

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February 13, 2017

How to Strengthen Your Marriage on the Fostering or Adoption Journey

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Dennis and Barbara Rainey know a thing or two about how to preserve and even strengthen a marriage while doing the hard work of caring for the world’s most vulnerable. They’ve been married over 40 years and have 6 grown children, one of whom is adopted. Additionally, they lead Family Life, a multi-faceted ministry to families. So when they shared their tips for cultivating a healthy marriage while fostering or adopting, we listened. Here are 2 points to keep in mind, as well as 4 practical suggestions– 1. Your marriage must be built to outlast your children. Whether our children are biological, fostered, or adopted, they will challenge us, and our marriage must be built to withstand the challenges. Why? If our relationship with God or our spouse suffers, it negatively impacts our marriage as well as the children we are trying to care for and love. Stepping into the foster … Continue reading

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February 10, 2017

The Best Decision We Made for Our Adoption

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When it comes to marriage, we spend so much time getting ready for the wedding that we don’t always do the hard work of preparing for the marriage itself. Adoption can be like that. We’re so busy raising money and getting rooms ready that all of a sudden we wake up one day and there are new children in our home and we’re not sure what to do. I believe preparing the best that you can, (knowing that there’s really no way to be totally prepared) is essential. The goal of being prepared helped my family when we adopted. We did all the required counseling sessions … and more. We read all of the required books … and more. Some of it worked, some of it didn’t. Some of it we had to find our own way. But we felt prepared. The best advice If there’s one piece of practical advice I can … Continue reading

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